FCIAC GIRLS SOCCER QUARTERFINALS Schuh’s late goal lifts Rams into semifinals
NEW CANAAN — The reclamation project for the New Canaan girls soccer team is moving forward.
The No. 4 seeded Rams, who prior to this season had not finished above .500 since 2014, are on their way to the FCIAC semifinals after defeating No. 5 Wilton 1-0 Thursday afternoon at Dunning Stadium.
New Canaan will face none other than arch-rival No. 8 Darien in the semifinals after Darien upset No. 1 Staples Thursday.
New Canaan had the better of the ball most of the second half, finally breaking through with a goal with 4:58 left to play.
Kendall Patten dribbled through two Wilton defenders before sending a ball to the back post where sophomore Emma Schuh was waiting to deposit it in the goal.
“This feels pretty good, it’s very exciting. We haven’t (advanced in FCIACs) since aby of the seniors have been at the high school,” Schuh said. “We brought up the intensity in the second half. It was very back and forth today. Earlier in the season we lost to them but that game wasn’t for a trophy and today we wanted to come out and beat them and advance.”
Wilton’s best scoring opportunity came with 24 minutes remaining after a free kick was played in from 40 yards out.
Wilton got the ball into the box and had a shot at goal but New Canaan keeper Jordan Paterson saved the first shot before the rebound was played over the net, ending the threat.
It was Wilton keeper Erynn Floyd who was busier, making 11 saves, several at close range as she kept her team in the game for 75 minutes until the Rams finally solved her.
“It wasn’t our best performance,” Wilton coach Renalto Topali said. “I thought we worked hard in the second half but I thought in the first half we got out-worked. This is our third game in four days, we are tired, injured and a little beat up. We knew our quality would drop a little bit. We wanted the ball a little more on the ground but things did not go in our favor.”
Wilton’s top player, Lindsay Groves, went down with a leg injury late in the first half and did not return. The Warriors fought on but had trouble generating offensive chances with Groves on the sideline.
“It’s absolutely fantastic to be going on to the semifinals,” New Canaan coach Rich Hickson said. “At the start of the year we got together and spoke about what our goals were. We wanted to qualify for qualify for FCIACs and once we did that our goals changed and now it’s about how far we can go. This is a fantastic group. They have really come together, the support each other, they work incredibly hard and this is a great achievement for everybody.”
NEW CANAAN 1, WILTON 0
WILTON 0 0—0
NEW CANAAN 0 1—1
Records: W—10-4-3; NC—12-4-1
Goals: NC—Emma Schuh. Assists: NC—Kendall Patten. Goalies: W—Erynn Floyd 11 saves NC—Jordan Paterson 3 saves